Whole grains should make up less than 25% of meals, except after exercise.
Many plant-based eaters spend most of their time eating whole grains and high-
starch vegetables, but going heavy on the dense carb foods at every feeding can
zap energy levels and impede your workouts. That’s why it’s important to aim
for the veggies, fruits and higher-protein plant foods at most of your meals.
When you do eat whole grains, it’s important to choose the right ones. The first
whole grain rule is to keep them real, which means minimizing refined grains.
“Refined” means that the grain has been stripped of one or more nutritious
components. Wheat flour, found in many crackers, crisps and snack foods, is
refined. Even oat bran and wheat bran are refined.
Also, try to keep whole grains in their minimally processed form whenever possible.
Whole quinoa, oats, brown rice, barley and corn are all good examples of minimally processed grains. Most whole-grain crackers, breads and snack foods contain processed whole grains. Processed grains are much better than the refined variety, but still not optimal. Sprouted whole grains are the best option for breads and tortillas.
Keep in mind everyone has unique needs. For example, if you’re active and lean,
you’ll probably be eating more whole grains. And if you’re not so active and have
some fat to lose, then keep the dense carb intake a bit lower until your body is
back on track with handling carbs well. This is one of the most important issues for